Friendship between Men and Women

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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby Kris » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:44 pm

I asked my husband this same question and he answered it the same way you did George.

He went on to say that the attraction for the man may initially be sexual but not the motive. (men can’t help it). But friendship is not conditional on sex and will develop into a respect and appreciation for what each person brings to the friendship.

I do have two very close friends who are men. Those friendships developed when I was young and they are still very close today. Those two friendships feel the most genuine and most constant through all these years……Hmmm, I think I will email them both.

I wonder if the strength of those friendships is because we became friends early in our lives before sexual attraction was an issue.

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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby Sabina » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:15 pm

GenerousGeorge wrote:I have often thought the desire for understanding, friendship and intimacy is very much the same as searching for God.

I like that. :)

As for your suggestion to concentrate on female friends and avoid the issue, I don't particularly like avoiding things, if possible, and besides this question is something that I was especially intrigued with when I was younger, a teenager. Back then I did want to have female friends as well, so I definitely wasn't only interested in male friendships, however my experiences with girls were not very positive either. I was young (obviously), and had very idealistic views on how people should be.
I expected boys to look at me as a person, and not a female, and I expected girls to be normal around boys. Falling in love, hormones, etc. I was all for it, so I wasn't against that part of anyone's behavior. What I used to have a problem with were girls who behaved differently when boys were around. They would transform 180°. My female friend and I are standing in front of school and talking and having a good time. A boy, or a few boys approach us, and she starts twisting herself like an Italian violin (this is an expression one of my male friends used to have about certain female behaviors).
I saw it that she wasn't being herself anymore, so I saw her as being fake, which was for me always a cardinal crime.
What I didn't understand back then is that she wasn't being fake. This twisting and turning and emitting sexual signals in all directions was simply a part of her.
Even if it wasn't a part of her I particularly liked (it would suddenly feel like I am standing next to a clown in the middle of a circus), knowing and understanding this would have helped me back then.
I am talking about a certain female here, even though I have made the same or similar experiences with different female friends. By similar I mean different shades of "unreal", like gossiping, intriguing (conspiring), etc. were on the menu with other female acquaintances.

The final outcome was that I, for the time being, gave up on friendship with females, and turned more towards male friends, which seemed more authentic in that sense.
However, I gradually realized that there were almost always ulterior motives involved as well, which led to frustration.

Some of my (male) friends from back then are still my friends today, and I don't doubt that they are true friends, even if it started out differently, but that was a very long time ago.

When this topic was brought up again (which is why I then posted it here), I was a little surprised to see that teenage boys and grown up men are not so different in this sense.

So, that's what you get for asking me a one-line question, or actually only offering a suggestion. :)

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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby GenerousGeorge » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:40 am

I was thinking about this some more and realized there have been times I resented the sexual nature of man becuase it interferes greatly with communication between men and women who are potential friends.

I have a female friend who is very, very attractive and gay. My singing teacher and play director actually. I know there is absolutely no chance that we could have a sexual relationship. (I'm talking theory here)....don't get the wrong idea ;)and as a result we are much more easily friends and I can relate to her in a way not possible otherwise.

It's funny, we were sitting outside one time and a really, really attractive woman walked by and I commented how pretty (and desirable) she looked and my friend answered in a way that another guy might, like.... "Wow, she really is hot!" (or something like that) It was a little bit of a shock to my system to have her respond like a guy might, but it really hammered home the fact that it was easier for us to be friends because even the "theoretical" chance of something happening between us was zero.

Not sure if that makes sense, but it really brought home to me the challenge that sexual attraction brings to men and women being "friends".

PS Sabina, I understand your response, I was mostly in jest with my suggestion, it just hammered home the difficulty of men and women being friends. You said you have old male friends who you say are, and in fact I'm sure are true friends. But.....what does that mean, a guy can be sexually attracted to someone, know that it was not right and overcome that instinct and still be friends.

In other words a person can be sexually attracted to you, overcome that "handicap" LOL and still be a true friend. Like I said, God had a weird sense of humour when he set up the whole sexual/propogate the race thing.
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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby Sabina » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:43 pm

That's a nice story (about your friend/singing teacher/play director) to make a point.

GenerousGeorge wrote:But.....what does that mean, a guy can be sexually attracted to someone, know that it was not right and overcome that instinct and still be friends.

That seems to be a matter of opinion.
One of my cousins says that friendship between men and women is not possible, and for him it is exactly for that reason. Even if the guy "overcomes his handicap", that handicap was (and is) still part of the story of their friendship, hence it is not really a friendship, in his opinion. For two heterosexuals of the same gender, be it male or female, there is never a romantic aspect to their friendship to cause it to be soiled.
But - and this is important - there are other things that can soil a friendship between them, like money, or rivalry of any kind, etc.
Now if one of these other things soils the friendship, and the two friends overcome it, it is not anymore considered to be an obstacle to their friendship, right?
If any aspect of sexuality soils the friendship, and the two friends overcome it, then it is still an obstacle?
Why? Because it can never be truly overcome, as it is always theoretically possible for something sexual to happen between them? Is that it?
It just seems like a pity.

And the solution is the internet! LOL
Here we can appreciate each other for our minds...

Or do the gender-specific predispositions matter in the virtual world as well?

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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby GenerousGeorge » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:38 pm

Sabina, I was thinking the internet might be one answer as well. So a key element of the solution is the absolute acceptance by each party that there is absolutely zero possibility for a physical sexual relation as in my gay friend, my mother, my sister, or possibly people we communicate with on the internet like this forum.

Ryan says...."I believe that sex should be an expression of the most deepest and intimate love for an individual, not some sort of extracurricular or recreational activity that is entered into lightly and forgotten even easier."

God/evolution just make me that way, it is not a matter of right/wrong or good/bad it is a matter of insuring the propogation of the species. It's like the old bull and the young bull looking at the cows in the pasture a couple 100 yards away, The young bull says ....."let's RUN down and make love to one of those cows, the old bull replies..."How about we WALK down and make love to them all!"

I agree with Ryan intellectually, but that does not mean that I am not greatly attracted to beautiful women. So, my point is that you cannot just intellectually wish or even reason away the instincts of the way we are made.

Ryan also commented...."They are people... why would I base my interest of a person on something so shallow as physical pleasure?"

The real problem is not what you first base your frienship on, the real problem is what happens when you become very close friends.

Ryan also said..... "Maybe those that have never had a relationship with the opposite gender that wasn't, in one way or another, based upon a sexual interest are those that are more a product of the imposed social standards?" I don't think it is social standards nearly as much as the basic instinct to run down the hill to the herd of cows for the two bulls.

Ryan, I am not disagreeing at all with your points which are valid, I'm just giving food for thought on some other implications of all that. :)

When guys are friends, they do give each other hugs and can bond with shared intimacy. If you (me anyway) became very close and intimate friends with a desirable woman and give them a hug, WATCH OUT!!

One helpful thing for old guys like me is what "Winston Churchill said about TEMPTATION.... He said....."Temptation is not so difficult to avoid when you get older because it avoids you."
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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby mirjana » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:07 pm

GenerousGeorge wrote:...
When guys are friends, they do give each other hugs and can bond with shared intimacy. If you (me anyway) became very close and intimate friends with a desirable woman and give them a hug, WATCH OUT!!

One helpful thing for old guys like me is what "Winston Churchill said about TEMPTATION.... He said....."Temptation is not so difficult to avoid when you get older because it avoids you."


I am still laughing... =0@
Not bad, not bad at all.


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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby Metatron » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:18 pm

Ok, so in the light of my sexual orientation, do I ask if it's possible for two guys to be only friends? :D

Now, obviously, I know the answer to that one. I only realized it later, but up untill I was about 13-14, I was chosing my freinds based on their appearance. And it was a subconscious thing. Later, when I've realized that it's not the looks that matter, I started being friendly with girls and guys I didn't like in appearance. And yes, I do have female friends. And no, I don't want to have sex with them.... Not all of them *giggle*. See, to me, sex is the only thing that makes a difference between friendship and a romantic relationship (so far). I have friends who I tell my problems and know me better than me. Girls and guys, equally. Gender is also not a problem for me. Sex isn't a big deal to me, at least not right now. So sex is always an option for me, whether I am close enough to a person or not.

I think the question is way too broad to be answered simply. What if I made a topic: Friendship between a murderer and a priusless person. Is it possible? Of course it is possible, but it may as well not happen at all.

Sex may be important to some people, but it may as well be not. For a man, who thinks of sex just as Ryan does, it is indeed possible to be friends with a girl. I'm bisexual, I can look sexually at both genders, so by the logic "Girls can't be only friends with boys" I'd have no friends at all.

This question is really rather ancient, it assumes gender roles. Nowadays gender roles are practically nonexistent in modern societies.
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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby Ryan » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:46 am

Point 1
George wrote:Ryan, I am not disagreeing at all with your points which are valid, I'm just giving food for thought on some other implications of all that. :)
Thanks for the "something to chew on" yet, I just can't seem to swallow it... I mean, with the whole bulls and cows comparison I just don't see it because with bovine (inclusion of other animals of their kind...deer, goats, buffalo, etc) it is a dominance thing. The bigger and stronger bull gets his pick of the crop which is a means of evolutionary process to ensure the survival of the species. Also, both genders of the species' approach are complimentary.


Point 2
George wrote:I agree with Ryan intellectually, but that does not mean that I am not greatly attracted to beautiful women. So, my point is that you cannot just intellectually wish or even reason away the instincts of the way we are made.
To my understanding attraction does not imply sex... I am attracted to some types of art work, music, architecture, cars, boats, animals...but I don't want to have sex with any of them... To find beauty in something does not provoke feelings of lust...do they? Or is it that... if I am attracted to a car I want to drive fast, a boat means the vast ocean / adventure / sun and wind, architecture means I would like to live in such a place, and with women it means sex? ...? Oh! She's pretty! SEX! To my experience if it is a matter of propagation then beauty does not play a role in the choice...at least not for the male of the species... as far as any animals I am aware of that choose a mate based upon outward appearance it is the female that chooses the male based on his bright colors, dance, nest building, call, etc. but the male just wants to get together with whomever will let him...he's not picky...


Point 3
George wrote:When guys are friends, they do give each other hugs and can bond with shared intimacy. If you (me anyway) became very close and intimate friends with a desirable woman and give them a hug, WATCH OUT!!
Being that I am American I understand what you are saying, but having lived over 10 years in Europe where standard greeting (regardless of gender or marital status) is a kiss on the cheek and a hug...It kind of leaves this point mute without really elaborating...But!

As for point 1, Being that cows' main purpose is to eat, digest...release methane into the atmosphere, and breed and that both approach life the same while in contrast we as a species (by following the development of the discussion) are split by gender. The females seem to have the approach that they can have a friendship with a male while not having any sexual impulses while the males (for the most part) say the opposite... something is wrong there. If the females have evolved beyond their "basic instinct of survival" while the males have not... then we should look towards what this might imply for the future of our species...maybe the human race will become asexual and there will no longer be a need for a male and female... of course, asexual reproduction is not generally found in mammals... so I don't know what exactly that implies...

On point 2, my elaboration as to a beautiful woman instinctively being a sexual conquest is possibly just that...maybe it is the desire to prove to one's self something... they are handsome enough to get the pretty ones... notches on the bed post (it's the quantity not the quality)... I can do better... maybe?

Also, the two comparisons, bovine and animals which choose mates based upon appearance, etc are two different methods...the two never apply to the same species...you'll never find a species where after the male proves its dominance the female then gets to choose... why? Because that reduces the likelihood of that specie's survival through the chance that the female's criteria for choosing restricts them from choosing the dominant male.

Anyway...been chewing, and it just doesn't taste quite right... I'll let you know if something else develops...

Oh...yeah, something else...there are a number of species that mate for life... lobsters, Gibbon apes, wolves, coyotes, barn owls, beavers, bald eagles, condors, swans...(Googled it)... there are some "it depends" instances but for the most part they do... I'm not saying that humans are necessarily one of those species... but something's not quite right...
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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby GenerousGeorge » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:29 am

Thanks for the reply Ryan, I understand all your points and I can see they are true for you and why.

I will comment on the three points as it is for me, not the way it is for everyone, or even the way it should be. It's just I'm the male I know best.

Point 1.... Actually the Bull thing was more to get a laugh than make a point. I need to be more careful about that. If pressed, my main logical point for using it would be that the male desire to mate with the female of any species is extremely strong and not very amenable to reason.

Your second comment on point one being that perhaps females have developed beyond men in this instinctive mating attraction tells me you may not know very many women, very well. ;)

Point 2.....Okay, okay change attracted to sexually attracted or to be perfectly frank....there is lust in my heart for her...there, I said it.....I want to get her in the sack. I overcome that urge through reason, a desire to comply with the rules of civilized society and a distinct aversion to jail cells. Women spend a lot of money, time and effort to look attractive and pretty, even (gasp) sexually attractive. Many do a darn good job of that and that complicates my instincts to respond to that. For me it's just accepting a simple truth. I don't know Maybe I am unique in that way, but most of the men I know seem very similar in that regard.

Your second comment on point 2 that...."maybe it is the desire to prove to one's self something... they are handsome enough to get the pretty ones... notches on the bed post (it's the quantity not the quality)... I can do better... maybe?"....... It has never been that way with me, I suppose it could be for some, but my focus has always been more "Oh man .....wouldn't you like to with her." Maybe I'm being too honest here and telling you what I really think, but what you think and what you do is what separates human behaviour from animal behaviour. USUALLY ANYWAY :)


Point 3....I think you are ignoring the main point which is when a male and female get to know one another as an intimate friend at the same level I might be with another guy, the potential of a hug goes way beyond a kiss on the cheek greeting.

On your last comment.....Oh...yeah, something else...there are a number of species that mate for life... lobsters, Gibbon apes, wolves, coyotes, barn owls, beavers, bald eagles, condors, swans...(Googled it)... there are some "it depends" instances but for the most part they do... I'm not saying that humans are necessarily one of those species... but something's not quite right...

Who says they don't cheat on their mates if the opportunity arises. You probably don't hear much about the romantic affairs of Gibbon Apes, eagles, swans etc. and resulting law suits because there is a scarcity of lawyers with these species.
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Re: Friendship between Men and Women

Postby Ryan » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:36 pm

Thank you for the reply, now we are refining it nicely...
as an opening, George wrote:I will comment on the three points as it is for me, not the way it is for everyone, or even the way it should be. It's just I'm the male I know best.
&
in closing to lusting, George wrote:I don't know Maybe I am unique in that way, but most of the men I know seem very similar in that regard.
Terrific...well that's a start...

George wrote:but my focus has always been more "Oh man .....wouldn't you like to with her." Maybe I'm being too honest here and telling you what I really think
Ok, that is the result... the final thought... that might, by this time, have come to be habitual as a result of something deeper... you explain it topically as "basic instinct" but there is a reason why you find that particular woman attractive. So to get to the actual reason why you just want to get with that particular woman instead of all women would be a process to find out just how natural your "basic instinct" is...

Let's press on...
For the sake of argument let's just say from the 15th to the 18th century the depiction of the "ideal" woman was very much different than today's depiction of the "ideal" woman. This suggests that our own perceptions of "beauty" are not consistent or a matter of nature... that there is something that is affecting it. I would be willing to bet the farm that it is society... And yes, you would be right to say that this (and this alone) does not affect the sexual impulses towards whatever your perception of beauty is... However, let's continue...

George wrote:Women spend a lot of money, time and effort to look attractive and pretty, even (gasp) sexually attractive. Many do a darn good job of that and that complicates my instincts to respond to that.
Your implications scream of "investment"... these things are not done in order to jump into the sack with some guy. These things are a long term investment in order to stay "up to date" in a very competitive market... like it or not...men are the consumer of this product... So, the women who invest so much time and money into their physical and sexual appearance are looking to attract which type of men? Those that invest equally at attracting and keeping such women.

This all is a social imposition, cared for and nurtured, to provoke consumer response to otherwise meaningless products for the sake of filling the pockets of the puppet masters of society.
as an initial post to the topic, Ryan wrote:Maybe those that have never had a relationship with the opposite gender that wasn't, in one way or another, based upon a sexual interest are those that are more a product of the imposed social standards?


You still might argue that being that the women using sex as a means to "bait & trap" a "worthy man" is still counting on man's "basic instinct"(sex)... I don't argue that we all have the innate approach to procreate as a means to secure our existence. What I argue is the extent to which we blame our behavior or approach to things on this "survival instinct" instead of the proper place of our society's materialistic greed and deformities that promote sex as a means with which one may secure a comfortable future. Or that the number of females you have been with is a measure of what a real man is. In that if you have only been with one woman your entire life you are naive and inexperienced and that you have no grounds to know what you are talking about when it comes to women... but I ask you... who knows women more... those who treat women like sexual objects or those who treat women as equals and approaches them with a genuine concern to get to know them as a person without any hidden motives?
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